Chinese students  have expressed concern over what they lose by not being able to attend a foreign campus. Tuition is steep, and students expect to be able to practice English or other languages and network with fellow classmates. Chinese parents and families “really cannot accept online learning, especially for a long time,” says Sang Peng, president of the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association, which helps foreign schools recruit students. Students who spend less than a year studying overseas, may not see their foreign diplomas recognized by China as valid according to the country’s rules, according to Sang.

“Online classes are fine, but it doesn’t make me feel like being abroad,” Li Xiao, a Chinese student whose plans to attend a foreign university were put on hold due to the pandemic, told Chinese news outlet Sina Tech (link in Chinese).”Part of the motivation for me to study in a foreign university is to see the world outside.”

—Jackie Bischof contributed reporting

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